Hutchison Remains as FAST, USOC Post-Graduate Center Coach in Fullerton, California  -- January 6, 2011

"He did not resign. He was not fired. I do not know who started those rumors nor how it got into the press." - Bill Jewell
By Brent Rutemiller

PHOENIX, Arizona, January 6. SWIMMING World has confirmed that Sean Hutchison has not resigned his position as coach for the USOC Professional and Post-Graduate Center in Southern California. Contrary to what was first reported by the Washington Post, no verbal or written resignation was ever submitted.

After a short holiday break, Hutchinson resumed coaching the elite swimmers associated with the USOC-funded program that is channeled through USA Swimming as a program hosted by Fullerton Aquatic Swim Team (FAST).

It was first reported that Hutchinson resigned his relationship with FAST, after an investigation into rumors turned up no evidence that Hutchinson acted improperly with his athletes.

Bill Jewell, CEO and head coach of FAST told Swimming World that "He (Hutchison) did not resign. He was not fired. I do not know who started those rumors nor how it got into the press. Sean did communicate a plan to move on at some point and I support that 100 percent. That is the current plan we are working under."

In the meantime it is "business as usual", said Jewell.

When asked if Jewell would give Sean a positive reference the answer was: "Absolutely!"

Jewell went on to communicate his long-term vision of having FAST continue hosting one of the USOC Professional and Post-Graduate Centers. "I have strong verbal commitments from the USOC and Chuck Wielgus, executive director for USA Swimming, to continue supporting the center", said Jewell. Currently FAST supports the Professional and Post-Graduate Center coaches and athletes with travel, uniforms and free pool time.

The two other swimming-related centers are located at North Baltimore Aquatic Club and SwimMAC-Carolina.

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January 6, 2011 This whole thing gets sketchier by the day...
Submitted by: CAcoach
January 6, 2011 And here I thought April 1 wasn't for another four months.

Silly me!

What's next, Schubert getting HIS job back?

Will ceases never wonder!!!!
Submitted by: slickwillie32
January 6, 2011 WOW, this get's crazier by the day! The Washington Post should be fined millions for careless reporting!
Submitted by: Globalswim
January 7, 2011 Did Bill Jewell wake up with a "dolphin's head in his bed"
Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 7, 2011 In other news, it turns out that Ryan Lochte didn't actually win five individual events in Dubai, either. That turns out to be just some misreporting by the news services.

Lochte said, "I have no idea how that rumor got started. I spent the entire month of December at home in Daytona Beach."
Submitted by: halfbreed
January 7, 2011 I'm glad to hear another coach is not acting inappropriately. It does suck that he had to deal with that but Im glad his name has been cleared.
Submitted by: SMWSMAC
January 7, 2011 I wonder who the Washington Post source was?
Submitted by: skipswims
January 7, 2011 I mean, Bill Jewell was the source. Unless every one of Jewells' comments was made based on his first hearing of Hutchison's resignation from a Washington Post reporter, then there's something fishy going on.

I'm not sure how he can call it rumor when they quoted him saying that Hutchison was leaving...and if he based all of those comments on something he heard from a member of the media rather than Hutchison himself, then shame on him.
Submitted by: GigEmAggies
January 7, 2011 Hmm...well something here (more than one thing actually) does NOT add up. These pieces aren't fitting together, and I'm thinking this is a cover for something much bigger going on. Karma has it's way of winning, and eventually the truth is gonna come out.

By the way, reporters ( i guess ) may make up things here or there, or stretch a story a little, but how could The Washington Post make up an ENTIRE story, with included quotes and things about a P. I. being hired? They would be extremely naive to do that,(or just a tabloid, but its the Washington Post) so I'm thinking this is all a little too odd...
Submitted by: swim2win321
January 7, 2011 It is not just the Washington Post, it is USA Today.

Obviously some higher authority may have stepped in, perhaps a lawyer or the USOC/USA Swimming, and they said "not so fast."

Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 7, 2011 I think Groovydoo is probably right, someone mediated the conflict, and everyone moved on. Now, they're trying to capitalize on the few who believe that this is somehow the Washington Post's fault and brush it all under the rug.

At the end of the day, it's no harm no long as they don't run around trying to say the WP or USA Today made the whole thing up.
Submitted by: GigEmAggies
January 7, 2011 In other news:

Today, Michael Phelps reported that he WILL, in fact, be competing at the 2010 Minnesota Grand Prix, despite reports to the contrary. He was quoted as saying "I do not know who started those rumors nor how it got into the press. Bob did communicate a plan to move on at some point and I support that 100 percent."
Submitted by: swimmingfan1212
January 7, 2011 "I cannot tell a lie.

"Conclusive vdeo evidence shows I DID NOT win eight golds @ Beijing, reports to the contrary not withstanding.

"Spitz and Cavic BOTH beat me in the 100 fly, Spitz took me to school in the 200 free-fly and Cseh cleaned my clock in the IMs.

"How these viscious rumors get started
I have NO idea. Maybe you should talk 2 Bob!"

-- Michael Phelps on his disappointing showiuing three years ago @ the Beijing Olympics.

"That;s why I have retired from competitive swimming effective IMMEDIATELY and am now going to try and make it on the PGA," Phelps concluded.

As for how the Washington Post could make up story like this out of whole cloth...just remember, a few moons ago a reporter named I think Janet Maslin (or something like that) won a Pulitzer Prize for her series on this homelsss young girl in D.C. and the whole thing was a scam!

The Pulitzer was later revoked.

True story.

And the former editor for The New York Times, Howell Raines, got canned about a half dozen or so years ago after he published a series of"award-winning" stories -- I forget the topic now -- by a reporter named Jason Blair, and those were all totally made up too!
Submitted by: slickwillie32
January 7, 2011 Right...but those were stories about made up people. They're not dumb enough to think they could get away with making up stories and quotes about real people...
Submitted by: swimmingfan1212
January 7, 2011 they are getting away with it. believe me.
Submitted by: askme10
January 7, 2011 it was told to us by the former national team director.
Submitted by: askme10
January 7, 2011 Am I the only one wondering why it took one week before either Bill Jewell or Sean Hutchison refuted the first article, quoting both as saying they were parting company? Now they would have us believe that this too was just a rumor. Obviously, it took a week for arbitration, both sides discovering that, for whatever reason, it would be in their best interests to remain business associates. But it's sketchy to now blame the Washington Post for poor reporting. Both Coach Hutchison and Bill Jewell must think we are all morons. I smell a cover-up.
Submitted by: trojanswimmer1
January 7, 2011 Trojanswim, I think you are exactly right.
Submitted by: Globalswim
January 7, 2011 not so much a cover up but a down playing of power.we will never know. but believe me sean is innocent. it was a power play. and those out of the net will try to come back. the ncaa is sweet the usa swimming is well what do you say help.
Submitted by: askme10
January 7, 2011 A lot of interesting questions have been asked; none will be answered here. SwimmingWorld runs puff pieces, and is not in the business of asking tough questions. The author is neither a serious journalist or an investigative reporter, so don't expect more than what you've been given.

Was there a response from S.H.? Was there a no comment from him? Does B.J. know anything about the reported private investigator? What, if anything, was reported? What about interviewing a swimmer at FAST?

Questions will continue to linger. Maybe something happened, maybe not. Maybe this was a power play by someone who wants the spotlight again.

My point: the sport of swimming could use someone with a little hutzpah to poke around and report the goings on, without worrying about yanking someone's chain.

Many people in the sport know more about this current situation than has been reported. Many know more about the sexual harassmant lawsuits against USA Swimming than has been reported. Is SwimmingWorld turning a blind eye, or do they acknowledge they are merely a feel good magazine?

Anyone want to take up the charge?
Submitted by: justin biggs
January 7, 2011 they are a feel good magazine
Submitted by: askme10
January 8, 2011 I'm not sure the rules about posting links, so I won't, but another blog is reporting that they received direct and clear confirmation from the Washington Post that both parties stated very clearly and plainly that they were parting ways. No liberties of interpretation were taken, etc.

Submitted by: swimmingfan1212
January 8, 2011 And here's the problem with the swimming community. Swimming World doesn't have a choice but to be feel good and puffy. They're the only ones with enough access to be hard-hitting, but they won't do it. Why? Because the swimming community still isn't used to the attention. They still like to see themselves as regular people instead of the elite athletes they are.

Sure, they want everyone at their meets, and they want everyone following every swim they have, but they only want a positive reaction. Swimmers are still so GD sensitive though, if you post even one mildly negative thing about them, they will never return your email or phone calls ever again. People whine about basketball and football players being put on a pedastal at such a young age, but in reality, there's some unintended benefits to it...
Submitted by: swimmingfan1212
January 8, 2011 Amen to that. If you need more proof just look at the Post's swim site,RTW and the postings on the site.

Moving along, to disparge the WP and Amy Shiply who has been around and has a good reputation is absurd. Of course she didnt make up quotes, why would she? We are taking about swimming which has a limited following.If she wanted to make up quotes it would have been about a sport that had a wider reader base.
The longer this goes on the more it sounds to me like two alpha males got caught in a pissing match and one said "thats it,I don't need this crap."
Fast forward to a week later and and the reality of finding a new training venue with 2 days notice set in. Conversely, USA swimming doesn't need anymore drama and wants to keep a charismatic good young coach in their stable.
Submitted by: bab
January 8, 2011 Obviously, one of the two Alpha males will end up looking like a horse's ass. Which one is it?
Hutchison or Jewell?
Submitted by: wek5000
January 8, 2011 I wrote Amy Shipley of the Washington Post and I posted her response to my blog. The Washington Post stands by the story and even got the quotes from the participants themselves. Here is a snippet from the letter:

"... Of course we stand by our original story. Both parties told us in plain language they were going separate ways. There was no confusion about this. I believe the quotes we used were quite plain. ..."

There is a bunch of back peddling here and questionable denials. Will USA Swimming do an investigation? If not, what if the Washington Post does a follow up, or USA Today, or ABC News and they find evidence of a swimmer/coach relationship?

The water has certainly been "chummed for sharks" here and those sharks will be the media!

How will USA Swimming respond if it turns out some parent or swimmer made a complaint to them?
Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 8, 2011 This all comes off like so much publicly aired dirty laundry.

Personally, I've grown quite tired of this type of "news".
Submitted by: mario2007
January 8, 2011 Enuf already about Sean Hutchinson, the Washington Poat and Amy Shipley!

Let's get back 2 harraunging about our favorite sport in general and in particular, how many golds you know who ISN"T going to win @ Shanghai and who's gonna stop him?

I believe he will be entered in 200 free/100-200 flys/200 IM. Don't think he finished one-two in 100 free @ Irvine did he?

And if Lochte wasn't fully rested for Dubai think he might NOT shave for Shanghai?
Submitted by: slickwillie32
January 8, 2011 SLickWillie32, the reason for the "haranguing," which three notable publications took an interest in: Swimming World, USA Today and the Washington Post is that USA Swimming is having a terrible time developing trust with parents, the swimming public and the victims.

Worse case scenario: this was a relationship between two adults but it is against USA Swimming rules.

Best case scenario, nothing ever happened at all, they were simply rumors and nothing but which begs the questions, why suddenly deny this confrontation?

What gives the appearance of impropriety, "strong arming" or a serious case of an out-and-out lies is when one of the parties denies the quotes they obviously said.

The press is going to explore this.

So getting back to the concept of trust, I would like to know why they lied either in the place or second place.

Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 8, 2011 A hypothetical:

Coach X has a "relationship" with swimmer Y (a person of the opposite sex) and Swimmer Y is 21 or older and is coached by "X".

Is this legit by USS rules/policies/etc.?
Submitted by: slickwillie32
January 8, 2011 SW32 No it is not.
Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 9, 2011 Their is a very fine line ;when you are dealing with consenting adults the line gets blurred.It is easy to say, hey who does it hurt? but the dynamics of coach/swimmer relationships are similar to teacher/student relationships. Do colleges allow professors to date students or can college coaches date their athletes even if they are of legal age? Where do you draw the line? Is it OK to have one relationship that's "meaningful" or two..what about 6 or 8 with your pupil or athlete?
On the other hand, when you spend your life at the pool, who else do you meet.
The reason for the rule is a good one and it's to protect athletes in vulnerable positions and while their are always exceptions, you can't write those into policy.Coaches/teachers have alot of influence and power over their athletes.It would be too easy for an unscupulous coach/teacher to use their power and influence. It's the whole slippery slope thing..
Submitted by: bab
January 9, 2011 No bab, there is no "fine line". It's the same as a boss/subordinate relationship. It's inappropriate.

Now back to the story, I believe I first mentioned that SW handling of the initial WP article was shabby journalism. They lended false credibility to unfound rumors and should have been held accountable. Clearly NO fact-checking was done by the SW editorial staff. You (@SW)should all be ashamed.

This may all be fishy and not add up, which it doesn't, but SW was 100 wrong in essentially reprinting the initial report, and further inserting thier own portion about USA-S misconduct guidelines. Trash journalism. Your job is to report, not make news, not to sensationalize. I'm disgusted with SW. You have a chance to be THE outlet for swim news nationally and you've blown your credibility.
Submitted by: fl_coach
January 9, 2011 FL-Coach: Bill Jewell emphatically stated in print that there were rumors he had to check out. He gave specific quotes as to their existence to the the Washington Post and USA Today. Suddenly he tells Swimming World that "none of it was true, Hutchison was never fired, never resigned, the whole thing confrontation never happen."

Yeah, there is a story here especially since it has been foreshadowed by USA Swimming's lousy followup with San Jose Aquatics and perhaps other clubs and here we have a prize club with elite athletes suddenly under suspicion.

So, YES, Swimming World is being responsible by putting these statements into the public record.
Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 10, 2011 Groovy, I agree it doesn't add up.

My original gripe with SW was that in the initial publication, they essentially re-printed an article that contained unsubstantiated rumors. If someone won't put their name to a rumor then it is not fit for print. And additionally they inserted the "relationship common sense guidelines" lending false credibility to those unsubstantiated rumors. It was sensationalism by the editors, and I expect more from SW, the leading swimming news outlet in the nation.

If the original piece was airtight, why do we now have this backpedaling? Did SW fact-check the store by the WP thoroughly? The WP may be a big time newspaper, but with journalism these days, was it possibly a hatchet job? There seems to be a lot more "creating" news these days instead of "reporting" news.

There's a story here alright, but we're not going to get the picture with shoddy journalism practices.
Submitted by: fl_coach
January 10, 2011 I stand corrected.
Submitted by: Groovydoo
January 10, 2011 Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was lecturing. It's a journalism thing that I feel strongly about for many reasons.
Submitted by: fl_coach
January 10, 2011 I don't think anyone can argue that the WP did any kind of poor reporting here. They reported the facts and quotes given to them by both Hutchison and Jewell. There were names attached to the rumors, and those names were "Sean Hutchison" and "Bill Jewell," as they both acknowledged them.

I do, however, agree that SW probably went overboard with their coverage of the sexual abuse aspect of it. It was worthy of mentioning, but over half of the article was about the sexual abuse. This probably led people to believe that the accusations were more serious than they otherwise might have been.

Swimming World isn't the ones doing the backpedaling though. Hutchison and Jewell are the ones who have retracted their previous comments.
Submitted by: swimmingfan1212
January 11, 2011 WP reporting was legit. Both Jewell and Hutchinson spoke "on the record" so they cannot throw mud at the news organization for printing what they said. The quotes were accurate and attributed appropriately. It is insulting to readers to suggest that this was a bad dream.

Very transparent what is going on here. Bad blood between Jewell and Hutchinson, hence the "dog and pony show" comment. Jewell had enough and acted out and on his own without consulting the powers that be. The heavy weights stepped and in forced them to "make up and be nice" so as not to disrupt the whole COE concept 18 months out of the Olympics.

If this whole thing "never happened" then why were the swimmers who would have been affected speaking with peers about new places to train?

Submitted by: beentheredonethat
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Sean Hutchison
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